Are you among the two-thirds of Americans who owns a grill? Throwing a summer BBQ is the perfect way to celebrate the warmer months ahead.
Nobody needs an excuse to fire up the grill, but it’s always so much more fun with friends and family to enjoy it with. So, get the ball rolling by being the first of your crowd to host a summer cookout this season.
Read our summer BBQ checklist to ensure you don’t leave out any of the vital ingredients for relaxing summer fun.
Planning Your Summer BBQ
Often, the best get-togethers involve no preparation at all, they just happen!
Yet, if you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply keen to see all your friends in one place again, you need to start planning as early as possible.
Step one is always setting up your summer BBQ budget for your barbecue. Everything depends on how much you can afford to spend.
Once you’ve got a budget in mind, you must choose a date and check that the weather intends to play along with your plans. If you’re planning your event around a major event like the fourth of July, be sure to invite your guests well in advance.
You needn’t send out formal invitations to your BBQ, an email or phone call will do. Make sure you keep a list of those attending, so you have enough food for everyone on the day.
Next, decide how many people you want to invite, and decide on your menu, drinks, and entertainment.
More planning means more fun for you during the event. You don’t want to spend all your time catering and miss out on mingling with your friends.
Setting Up Your Menu
Food is always the top item on any summer BBQ checklist.
Think about whether you will provide all the eats and drinks, or if you’ll ask people to bring along some items to add to the meal. You’ll find most people will ask what they can bring, so have an answer ready when they do.
Asking your guests to bring a side dish or dessert can take a lot of pressure off you and give you more free time to spend with everyone. Besides, folks like to show off their cooking prowess and share their creations with others.
You needn’t stick with all the usual food for BBQs. Get original with your menu.
Hot dogs are great for a family day in the sun, but it’s best to get creative when entertaining. Some more unusual options for BBQ grills include:
- Grilled salmon
- Stuffed burgers
- Pork skewers
- Chicken with an Asian twist
- Chili ribs
If you’re stretched for time or ideas, you can also order some items or glean inspiration from established BBQ eateries like dinosaurbarbque.com, hickoryhanks.com, or smokeybones.com.
Be sure to find out if any of your guests have dietary restrictions or food allergies, and cater to them too.
When it comes to drinks, most people don’t mind bringing their own. It’s impossible to cater to everyone’s preferences.
You can provide a fun cocktail as a welcome drink, or serve wine with the meal, but it’s best to let your guests bring their drinks along.
Decide on Decor for Your Big Day
Decorating your dining area adds an extra element of fun. You can choose Residential kitchen remodeling contractors.
Balloons and streamers make great BBQ party decorations for a daytime event, and you can’t beat colored lanterns or fairy lights if you’re entertaining after dark.
A few simple decorations go a long way toward making your BBQ extra memorable.
Why not have a themed event? Everyone loves a chance to dress up, and it makes decorating super easy.
Throwing a Summer BBQ Like a Boss
Socializing is the main event at any BBQ, but you can make your BBQ stand out by arranging games and entertainment to keep everyone engaged.
Think up some classic party games and add an adult spin to them, hire a karaoke machine, or set up a game of croquet. People love trying new things, so let your imagination run wild.
If you’re hosting a poolside shindig, an inflatable volleyball net can add hours of energetic, competitive fun to your event.
Are your friends bringing their children along? Set up some entertainment for them too.
Kids love blow-up pool toys or racquets and balls for outdoor fun.
Drinking games are great fun for adults-only parties, but it’s best to skip the beer pong with impressionable little people around.
Music is a must-have on any summer barbecue checklist. So, download a collection of upbeat tunes to your phone, or haul out your old vinyl records, and set up your speakers to broadcast some background beats while you relax.
Share Your Summer BBQ Arrangements
Are you already feeling a little overwhelmed in the face of all these tasks? Enlisting the help of a friend is a great way to share the load.
This way, you can split the chores and your hosting responsibilities and give yourself a little time to relax, too. Besides, two minds are always better than one when it comes to menu planning, decor, and shopping for ingredients.
Any planned event is always less stressful when you know someone’s got your back, and you don’t have to remember everything on your own.
Find Your Comfort Zone
Don’t feel like you have to check off every item on the above list. After all, the main purpose of throwing a summer BBQ is to enjoy yourself, too.
You know your friends and your capabilities best. Stick with what makes you and them feel at ease.
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